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Regional Official Plan Review: Growth Concepts

Breadcrumbs
 
Halton Region is reviewing land use policies to advance municipal planning priorities around transit, growth, and development in the community through different Growth Concepts. This work will also ensure that Halton Region complies with Provincial planning requirements, such as the Growth Plan (2019).
 

What are Growth Concepts and why are they important?

  • Halton has prepared Growth Concepts for where and how Halton will grow to 2051.
  • By planning for the future, we can ensure Halton remains a great place to live as our community continues to grow.
  • The Growth Concepts provide varying options on how to accommodate another 482,000 people and 222,000 jobs to meet the provincial requirement of 1,100,000 people and 500,000 jobs by 2051.
  • The Growth Concepts are another step towards developing a Preferred Growth Concept for the Region.
 

1.1 MILLION
PEOPLE BY 2051

500 K
JOBS BY 2051

Growth Management Process

 

Growth Scenarios Report/Evaluation Report

Status: Completed

 

Regional Urban Structure Discussion Paper

Status: Completed

 

Growth Concepts Discussion Paper

Status: Completed

 

Preferred Growth Concept Discussion Paper

Status: Upcoming

What will growth look like?

The Region’s future urban structure will include different growth areas for development. The majority of population and job growth will occur in these locations. Growth in these areas is reflected in each Growth Concept by varying rates of intensification or densification.

How will this look in your community? Consider housing as an example: low-density areas contain single or semi-detached houses, while medium-density areas feature townhouses, duplexes and triplexes. High-density mixed-use areas will generally have apartments, multiplexes or stacked townhouses.

Low-Density to High-Density Housing

image showing low density to high density housing

How are the Growth Concepts evaluated?

The Growth Concepts are evaluated using a framework organized around four themes. Each theme contains a series of measures for evaluating the Growth Concepts. The effects of climate change have been considered in establishing the measures for all four themes.

icon for Regional Urban System and Local Urban Structure growth concept

Regional Urban System and Local Urban Structure

  • Urban structure
  • Employment land supply
  • Healthy and complete communities
icon for Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change growth concept

Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change

  • Agricultural land base and system
  • Natural heritage protection
  • Climate change
icon for Infrastructure and Financing growth concept

Infrastructure and Financing

  • Financial impact
  • Efficient use of infrastructure
icon for Growing the Economy and Moving People and Goods growth concept

Growing the Economy and Moving People and Goods

  • Travel by multiple means of transportation
  • Transit-supportive development
  • Moving goods to business, consumers, and industries
  • Employment areas

Combined with feedback received through our questionnaire, Public Information Centres (PICs) and other community engagement, the Region is using this evaluation to develop a Preferred Growth Concept for the community.

All of the Growth Concepts meet the policy objectives of the Growth Plan (2019):

  • 50 per cent of all new units to be built in the existing urbanized area
  • 65 persons plus jobs per hectare for all new development area

All Growth Concepts vary based on:

  • rate of growth or densification/intensification
  • type and location of new housing units needed
  • amount of new Community Area and Employment Area required for an urban expansion

What are the Growth Concepts?

The following maps show the location of the potential new Community Area and Employment Area where future population and job growth will occur as part of the urban expansion . How much land area those potential new Community Area and Employment Area will require is shown in the accompanying pie charts.

The maps also identify strategic growth areas in the existing urbanized areas where future population and job growth will occur.

The key parts of Concept 1:
 
  • Has a moderate rate of densification
  • Most new housing will be within the existing urbanized area
  • Majority of new housing units will be higher density (for example, apartments and condos) (95,600 units)
    • Has more ground related units (for example, single-detached, semi-detached, row/town houses) (78,300 units) than Concept 2 and 3 but less than Concept 4
  • Needs more land (2630 ha) for an urban expansion than Concept 2 and 3 but less than Concept 4 
  • 3,430 ha of total prime agricultural area will be urbanized

The following map shows the potential locations of future urban expansion and strategic growth areas for Concept 1.

map of concept 1

The chart below shows the proposed breakdown of where new housing will go in the Region from 2021 to 2051 for Concept 1 in the existing urbanized area  or new development area.

The chart below shows the Provincial Growth Plan requirements, and the proposed densification, intensification rates from 2021 to 2051 for Concept 1.

Concept 1: Growth, Intensification and Density

  • minimum 50 percent of all new housing inside the existing urbanized area
  • plus additional densification from high-density mixed-use areas  in the new development area  

 

2021-31

2031-2051

Inside existing urbanized area

50%

   50%

densification

limited

   10%

Total

50% +

   60%

  •  exceeds the minimum 50 persons plus jobs per hectare target in the Growth Plan

 

The following chart shows the total land needed for an urban expansion and how much is comprised of Community Area and Employment Area for Concept 1.

The chart below compares the type of housing units needed from 2021 to 2051 for Concept 1 in the existing urbanized area or new development area.

 
The key parts of Concept 2:
 
  • Has a moderate rate of densification but is higher than Concept 1
  • Most new housing will be built within the existing urbanized area
  • Majority of new housing units will be higher density (for example, apartments, condos)  (106,700 units)
    • More apartment units are needed than Concept 1
  • Need more land (1830 ha) for an urban expansion than Concept 3
    • Need less new Community Area land than Concept 1 and 4
  • 2,320 ha of total prime agricultural area will be urbanized

The following map shows the potential locations of future urban expansion and strategic growth areas for Concept 2.

map of concept 2

The chart below shows the proposed breakdown of where new housing will go in the Region from 2021 to 2051 for Concept 2 in the existing urbanized area or new development area.

The chart below shows the Provincial Growth Plan requirements, and the proposed densification, intensification rates from 2021 to 2051 for Concept 2.

Concept 2: Growth, Intensification and Density

  • minimum 50 percent of all new housing inside the  existing urbanized area
  • plus additional densification from high-density mixed-use areas  in the new development area

 

2021-31

2031-2051

Inside existing urbanized area

50%

   50%

densification

limited

   20%

Total

50% +

   70%

  •  exceeds the minimum 50 persons plus jobs per hectare target in the Growth Plan

 

The following chart shows the total land needed for an urban expansion and how much is comprised of Community Area and Employment Area for Concept 2.

The chart below compares the type of housing units needed from 2021 to 2051 for Concept 2 in the existing urbanized area or new development area.

 
The key parts of Concept 3:
 
  • Has the highest rate of densification
  • Most new housing will be within the existing urbanized area
    • No additional new development area needed for housing
  • Majority of new housing units will be higher density (for example, apartments and condos) (118,200 units)
    • Along with Concept 3B, has the highest number of apartment units needed and lowest number of new ground-related units (for example, single-detached, semi-detached, row/town houses) needed
  • Needs the second least amount of land (980 ha) for an urban expansion
    • No new Community Area land is needed
    • Needs the second least new Employment Area land for an urban expansion
  • 1,270 ha of total prime agricultural area will be urbanized

The following map shows the potential locations of future urban expansion and strategic growth areas for Concept 3.

map of concept 3

The chart below shows the proposed breakdown of where new housing will go in the Region from 2021 to 2051 for Concept 3 in the existing urbanized area or new development area.

The chart below shows the Provincial Growth Plan requirements, and the proposed densification, intensification rates from 2021 to 2051 for Concept 3.

Concept 3: Growth, Intensification and Density

  • minimum 50 percent of all new housing inside the  existing urbanized area
  • plus additional densification from high-density mixed-use areas  in the new development area

 

2021-31

2031-2051

Inside existing urbanized area

50%

   50%

densification

limited

   30%

Total

50% +

   80%

  •  exceeds the minimum 50 persons plus jobs per hectare target in the Growth Plan

 

The following chart shows the total land needed for an urban expansion and how much is comprised of Community and Employment Area for Concept 3.

The chart below compares the type of housing units needed from 2021 to 2051 for Concept 3 in the existing urbanized area  or new development area.

 
  • From a densification and new development area for housing perspective, Concept 3B is identical to Concept 3.
  • Needs no land for an urban expansion
    • No new Community Area land is needed
    • No new Employment Area land is needed
  • No prime agricultural area will be urbanized
  • This concept would require:
    • An unprecedented shift from Employment Land Employment—or jobs in low-rise, industrial-type buildings within business parks and industrial areas—to Major Office Employment—or jobs in office buildings and/or in the office portion of mixed-used development areas; and/or
    • An unprecedented degree of intensification for employment lands to accommodate forecasted growth to 2051
  • Risks future jobs and businesses being located outside of the region due to insufficient employment land in Halton to 2051

The following map shows the existing Built-Up Area and Designated Greenfield Area of the Region, as Concept 3B proposes no settlement area expansion

map of concept 3
The key parts of Concept 4:
 
  • Has the lowest rate of existing urbanized area there will be increased densities above those originally planned within new development area (designated greenfield area) densification
  • Most new housing will be within the existing urbanized area
    • More new housing units will be in the new development area than Concepts 1, 2 and 4
  • Majority of new housing units will be ground-related (for example, single-detached, semi-detached, row/town houses) (89,200 units)
    • Has the highest number of ground-related units needed
  • Needs the most land (3,300 ha) for an urban expansion
    • Needs the most new Community Area and Employment Area land for an urban expansion
  • 3,900 ha of total prime agricultural area will be urbanized

The following map shows the potential locations of future urban expansion and strategic growth areas for Concept 4.

map of concept 4

The chart below shows the proposed breakdown of where new housing will go in the Region from 2021-2051 for Concept 4 in the existing urbanized area or new development area.

The chart below shows the Provincial Growth Plan requirements, and the proposed densification, intensification rates from 2021 to 2051 for Concept 4.

Concept 4: Growth, Intensification and Density

  • minimum 50 percent of all new housing inside the  existing urbanized area 
  • plus additional existing urbanized area there will be increased densities above those originally planned within new development area (designated greenfield area) densification from high-density mixed-use areas  in the new development area

 

2021-31

2031-2051

Inside existing urbanized area

50%

   50%

existing urbanized area there will be increased densities above those originally planned within new development area (designated greenfield area) densification

limited

   0%

Total

50% +

   50%

  •  exceeds the minimum 50 persons plus jobs per hectare target in the Growth Plan

 

The following chart shows the total land needed for an urban expansion and how much is comprised of Community and Employment Area for Concept 4.

The chart below compares the type of housing units needed from 2021 to 2051 for Concept 4 in the existing urbanized area  or new development area.

 

Additional evaluation: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment

On April 21, 2021, Regional Council passed a motion to develop a comparative assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions expected to be associated with each Growth Concept. The study methodology and findings are detailed in a supplementary Growth Concepts report, "Integrated Growth Management Strategy: Comparative Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment of Growth Concepts (PDF file)."

Separate evaluation: Growth Concept 3B

On April 21, 2021, Regional Council passed a motion to develop another Growth Concept that could accommodate growth to the year 2051 without expanding Halton’s existing settlement area boundary. A separate evaluation of Concept 3B, relative to the other Growth Concepts, using the Evaluation Framework on which the other four growth concepts were evaluated in detail (as described in the Growth Concepts Discussion Paper (PDF file)) resulted in the following overall findings:

  • Concept 3B performs the same as Concept 3 in terms of the financial impact associated with residential development, but does not perform as well as any other Growth Concept in terms of best ensuring non-residential assessment growth through accommodating Employment Land Employment
  • Concept 3B performs the same as Concept 3 from a transportation perspective
  • Concept 3B performs somewhat better than Concept 3 in terms of the potential for lower water/wastewater capital costs
  • Concept 3B performs best in retaining the greatest amount of agricultural land to support the agricultural system, as no encroachment on to existing agricultural land is proposed
  • As for all Growth Concepts, Concept 3B does not propose any removal or encroachment into the Natural Heritage System
  • Concept 3B retains the greatest potential area for aggregate extraction as no encroachment on mineral aggregate resource areas is proposed

Next steps: developing a preferred Growth Concept

The main goal of the Growth Concepts was to test and evaluate a range of choices for how and where growth should occur in Halton Region. Developing a Preferred Growth Concept should address questions and considerations related to eight key principles. The principles are:

Growth Management

Infrastructure

Fiscal Impact Assessment

Agriculture

Mineral Aggregate Extraction

Climate Change

Natural Heritage Systems and Healthy Watershed

Multi-Modal Transportation, Transit-Supportive Densities and Goods Movement

 

Virtual Public Information Centres

Halton Region held virtual Public Information Centres about the different Growth Concepts in May and June 2021. View the recordings and slide decks for these events below:

 

We welcome your feedback through the Regional Official Plan Review process. If you have any questions or comments, please email ropr@halton.ca.

More information

To learn more about the Growth Concepts, you can read our full discussion paper (PDF file) which includes the appendices listed below. The paper provides more detailed information about the growth concepts and how they are evaluated. The appendices contain supporting research and analysis.

Development of Growth Concepts (PDF file)

  • A. Climate Change Lens
  • B. Land Needs Assessment and Municipal Allocation
  • C.1 Employment Area Conversion Request Inventory
  • C.2 Employment Area Conversions: Initial Assessment Summary

Growth Concepts Technical Assessment (PDF file)

  • D. Transportation Assessment
  • E. Water & Wastewater Assessment>
  • F. Fiscal Impact Assessment

Settlement Area Boundary Expansion Studies (PDF file)

  • G. Agricultural Area Assessment
  • H. Natural Heritage System and Water Resources Assessment
  • I. Mineral Aggregate Resources Assessment
  • J. North Aldershot Policy Area Urban Expansion Assessment
  • J.1 North Aldershot Water and Wastewater Constraints and Opportunities

Evaluation of Growth Concepts (PDF file)

  • K. Evaluation of Growth Concepts

Additional resources

If you require this information in an alternative format or need accessibility accommodation to provide feedback, please call 311, email accesshalton@halton.ca, TTY 905-827-9833 or 1-866-442-5866. We will work with you to meet your needs.

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